Girard Perregaux have always made beautiful watches. Even watches which, going by just reading the design brief will sound like its going to look awkward, comes out to look great. And right. Not all great brands are able to make claim to that. We credit this to the incredible genius of the late Gino Macaluso, and now his son Stephano Macaluso. We interviewed the younger Macaluso when he was in Singapore last year to try and get a glimpse into the creation process. Read that interview here. But the subject of today’s hands-on review is the new Girard Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges. The name is a mouthful. But this is certainly one of the most drop dead gorgeous watches in this Baselworld 2015.
The Girard Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges
One of the most gorgeous watches in Baselworld is certainly a lofty claim. And we do admit, we are great fans of the basis GP Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges since its launch. This new timepiece builds on the fabulous Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridge, and adds an interesting minute repeater mechanism which is on the dial side, allowing the owner to observe the striking action.
Personally, I usually prefer a discrete tourbillon without an opening on the dial to display the tourbillon, but the GP tourbillons give me reason to abandon this preference. In fact, this watch has no dial to speak of, being totally open and the owner can appreciate the beauty of the bridge and movement layout as well as the exceptional level of finishing accorded,
Adding a complication on top of another is not a great achievement in itself. This complications melange is often the recourse when manufactures run out of innovative ideas and just pile one complication on another making what they tout to be Grande Complications. These sandwiches are often of little interest, safe a few notable exceptions. But in creating this minute repeater, GP has stayed away from this, by making the repeating mechanism to be quite novel.
The minute repeater
The striking mechanism is rather interesting. The heel of the gongs are linked to the main plate and the pink gold case. In a standard repeater, the heel of the gongs are only linked to the main plate. The sound of the strikes are thus carried and amplified through these linkages. The case itself becomes a resonator and an amplifier for the strikes. This concept is similar, but not the same as the Jaeger LeCoultre crystal gongs, where the gongs are attached to the crystals, using the crystals as resonating chambers to amplify the sound.
The gongs are in gold, and like all repeaters, the tuning of the gongs are what makes or breaks the fine resonant, harmonious sound as the hammers strike. In the case of the GP Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges, it is rather successful. Each strike is clean, clear, loud, and decays beautifully and harmoniously.
The Caliber 9500-0002 movement
Girard Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges Reference: 99820-52-000-BA6A
Case in pink gold
Diameter: 45,00 mm
Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire
Case-back: sapphire crystal, secured by 6 screws
Water resistance: 30 meters (3 AT M)
Integrated side bolt in the case at 9 o’clock for activation of the minute repeater
Internal flange in pink gold with circular graining.
Applied indexes in pink gold, polished
Girard-Perregaux GP09500-0002 movement
Mechanical, manual winding
Diameter: 32,00 mm (14’’’ ¼ )
Thickness: 9,35 mm
Frequency: 21.600 Vib/h – (3 Hz)
Power reserve: minimum 58 hours
Number of components: 406
Arrow-shaped Bridges and marking plates in pink gold
Functions: Tourbillon and minute repeater, hour, minute
- Tourbillon carriage: 91 components for 0.49 g
- Diameter: 13,60 mm
- Balance wheel: variable inertia with pink gold setting screws
- One rotation per minute
- Gong on two tones in steel 20AP (hours and quarters on the first tone, minutes and quarters on the second tone)
- Hammer inspired by the arrow-shaped Bridges of Girard-Perregaux, jewels above and under
- Speed regulator with gold inertia-blocks
All the components of the movement are manufactured by hand according to the criteria of the Haute Horlogerie.
Hand-stitched black alligator strap
Triple-Folding buckle in pink gold with safety lock
Limited edition of 10 pieces.